Borrow bags commonsense for store
First they banned plastic bags, now Wellington organic supermarket Commonsense are getting rid of corn starch bags in favour of ‘‘borrow bags’’.
Commonsense, which has five stores across the Wellington region and one in Auckland, has been plastic bag free for about 10 years, instead offering sustainable, single-use film bags.
However, Commonsense coowner Marion Wood said even the corn starch bags ‘‘aren’t good enough’’, as they required commercial composting, meaning many of them still ended up in landfill.
As a result, the supermarket owners have decided to offer bags made from natural fibres and recycled cloth, which people can borrow and bring back.
Since going plastic bag free, most customers had been ‘‘very responsive’’ by bringing their own bags, or taking a box, Wood said.
‘‘But we hesitated to go that last step, because we don’t want to inconvenience customers who don’t have their own bag with them.
‘‘We looked at getting cheap reusable plastic shopping bags, but decided they were still part of the problem.’’
The company decided to pilot the borrow bags in its Kapiti store, using products from Boomerang Bags, which makes bags for people to borrow and bring back. Wood said the trial was successful and the company would now roll it out across all of its stores.
‘‘Fewer single use shopping bags creates a win-win-win situation. It means a win for the landfills and the oceans, a win for our customers, and a win for fair trade reusable bags.’’
Boomerang Bags Wellington has provided 100 bags made from recycled cloth to help Commonsense get started.
In addition, Commonsense has bought fair trade jute bags to supplement supply.